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September 2021
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Artroom Expansion Recycling

One of the things I like to keep my eye on is the possibility of recycling and reusing things on various projects. One, is that I am lazy and anything I can do to minimize the amount of trash and garbage generated on a project is that much less to clean up and throw away. I read or saw a statistic recently that new construction wastes between 20-30% of materials delivered on a site. When I was a full time drywaller, I saw that every day.

Two, is thinking about using materials in the most efficient manner, so as to get the most out of it. I hate tossing things out, which is why I have an enormous collection of odd bits of things that don't work in old locations. 

Three, is saving time by not having to run around for materials to build things, and saving money by not buying new, when used will work.

The Artroom Expansion did use a lot of new material, being new construction, but there was very little scrap as I did a little planning. I was also lucky in having a client who felt the same.

This was the 'original' cabinet and counter assembly in the artroom. I emphasize original as the client got the cabinets from another project, so they are already second generation. 

So what did we do? The countertop became the backing for the glass cutter.

The trim around the old counter became the trim for the new counter.

The cabinets got moved and mounted on the wall.

The artroom sink got a solid surface shelf for the new window courtesy of the bathroom remodel project.


In the expansion, the counter for the sink is a reused counter.


The FRP sink sidewalls are the remains of a project for the clients husband. The cap on the top of the sidewall as well as the splash below the window are also from one of the bath remodel projects.


Last but not least, are the windows that were in the original wall.


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The last bits inside are drying, and the painting outside is beginning. Here is the state of play.

We added 6 glass block windows to the east wall approximately 32'' apart. These are just below the top plates and in every other stud space along this wall. They provide ambient light without  glare as they are this high on the wall.

The cabinets originally sat on the floor on the opposite wall. We built a cleat system and remounted them on the wall. The cabinets and glass blocks working out so well in terms of proportion was blind dumb luck.  The floor cabinets were the 2 door units. The client found the three door cabinet that is in the center of this wall and after mounting them the glass blocks just worked out. Lucky me. Probably why I haven't won the lottery.


Moving on…. The design and assembly table was cut down 2.5 inches and two shelves were added for storage of some of the larger items like the boards used for panel assembly as well as the longer lengths of 'came' used in stained glass.

The counter height and depth was designed by the size of the rolling carts you see underneath. The left end is anchored by a steel cabinet containing small pieces of glass. The cost of some glass will make your nose bleed.

The wall brackets are 4' on center so we could screw into the studs behind. I used 3'' deck screws for this. The photo on the left shows a Dewalt Countersink drill bit. What makes this  an outstanding tool is the length of the bit and the taper of the drill. They are relatively expensive compared with straight bit countersink bits, and finding replacement drill bits is a chore, but it is worth the effort. They come in #6,8,10 sizes. They are made for longer screws, but when you are drilling through plywood,drywall and into a stud for a three inch screw, they have no equal. The replacement bits are best found at a Dewalt Store or at Amazon.   

The wall brackets are angled, allowing me to get two brackets out of my plywood. They also stop 5'' off of the floor. This allows for ease in cleaning underneath the counter. 

On the other wall where the cabinets used to sit, we reused the counter as a backing for the glass cutter. More three inch screws. It also formed a convenient holder for bulletin boards. Nothing says love better than stuff that does not fall down, trust me. Also in this photo is the a/c unit we removed from the endwall when we started this project.

For those of you following along, wondering where this is all leading, remember the whole point of this project was to get the kiln into another room with expansion space for another one. 



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Details. It's always the details.
The counter was designed specifically as a garage for these rolling carts. We made it 16' feet long and 20'' deep to take advantage of the plywood. We reused the trim that was on the other side of the room when these cabinets were floor units. It has 2 coats of 'satin' finish waterbased polyurethane to protect it.

The glass block windows being centered was a happy accident.

The shelving units are being filled up with the various powders and fragments that go into fusing glass.
Here is the former exterior wall with the only items that remained.
A couple of details to wrap up, and then it is outside to paint the building.

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Having hung the cabinets, I built the counter for that wall. 16 feet of counter. It is 3/4 plywood with angle brackets for stud wall mounting. Building 16 feet of anything in a 22 foot shop is challenging.

But with careful measurement, it mounts quickly. The counter is designed to hold a number of rolling carts underneath. The brackets are designed to  screw through the wall into the studs behind making it strong enough to sleep on. The brackets stop short of the floor to make cleaning the area easy.

Here is the wall with the cabs and counter in place. I also installed 3 more glass blocks above for more indirect light.

Here is a view from the other side.

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Having built or recycled a number of the elements of the artroom expansion, this is how they are coming together.
The sink area is ready for the finishing touches. The client did a great job on the floor.    Adapting a shower pan for use as a sink was a challenging project. The FRP panels were recycled from another project as was the counter. We will be installing a black ribbed rubber cover over the counter extending over the edge of the sink, forming a drain surface.

Here is a closer look at the sink. The cap/backsplash on the left and under the window are recycled solid surface backsplashes from the Guest Bath Project. Through the window you can see the cabinets mounted that I described in my last post.

Looking down the counter to the doorway, you can see the shelving units created for material storage.

Here are the shelving units mounted.


Speaking of mounting, here are the rest of the wall cabinets mounted. After attaching the cleats, with the help of a neighbor it took almost 2 minutes to hang the cabinets.


I did screw them through the backs into the bottom cleat, just to stablize them. We decided to add three more glass block windows over the top of this cabinet run. There is a conduit run on the outside that needs to be removed before I can cut the openings.

Meanwhile I will be cutting the rest of the deck pieces for the counter that will be installed under these cabinets.

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The first set of custom shelves is ready for a coat of poly.
These are made for a container that the client has a lot of storing various materials.

Made out of my favorite plywood with a rabbeted back, and the unit on the right is built for storage of fusable glass rods.

Meanwhile I am building the sink unit made from an angle shower pan. The left side is a ponywall and backsplash. The right side has a built out wall that will tuck under the window, and contain the plumbing. It's depth is dictated by the counter that will run along the wall to the door.
Sink3 In order to make this work, I added an 1/8'' masonite panel behind where the FRP will be attached, as the shower pan has a lip. This gives me a flat surface for gluing the FRP.

The sink is pretty much ready for paint.
I still need to find trims for the outside corners. FRP is a 1/16'' thick and the vynle trims at the big box stores are made for the 1/8'' masonite panels which are produced in the most mind numbing ugly colors and patterns. Yet another demonstration of big box store weirdness. The only FRP panels have a texture on them making them hard to keep clean, and no trims in stock for them. –sigh–

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While the floor is drying and getting a clear coat, I am in the new temporary workshop building things.

Part of the art room  expansion is to provide a sink for cleaning the glass after it is fused.
We are using a shower pan as the sink. It has the virtue of being big and flat without being deep.

Because this is a custom piece, we can put the top of the sink and counters at 30'', which is the preferred height for the client.

The back splash is 7'' thick to accommodate the plumbing and to bring the side out far enough to join a 24'' deep counter to it.Still to go are is the side splash, masonite and frp for the splash areas.

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The floor has been painted and is drying. This is Quikrete Epoxy Garage Floor Coating Floor4

Our floor is 249 square feet. The kit covers 250 square feet.  According to the client they aren't kidding. Also this is a water based epoxy product and has low to no odor.

It takes 72 hours before you can use it.

Meanwhile I am building cabinets.

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This is the crap left to clean up when using red rosin paper.

The floor will be washed and painted over the next couple of days.
The walls are painted with Behr Ultra White Semi Gloss. Shows every little detail.

North Wall
East Wall
South Wall
West Wall
Meanwhile I will be spending the time the floor is drying, building various cabinets and shelving units for this.

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The electrician was a no show, as he had other work. This is okay as I got the sanding and we got the primer done.

Always prime sheetrock!!!

First, it will save you money. You really don't want to apply two or more coats of 30+ bucks a gallon paint to cover your wall.

Second, by priming your walls, you have an opportunity to fix any small problems that show up before you paint your finish color.

Third, cause I said so.


The ceiling came out pretty well.

The damage on this wall went away as well.

24 sheets of drywall, 2 bags of speedset, 2 boxes of dust control mud, and this is all the mess there is. Love that dust control mud.
Tomorrow I get to bite the electicians ass…